Journal Article

An MCMC approach to extracting the global 21-cm signal during the cosmic dawn from sky-averaged radio observations

Geraint J. A. Harker, Jonathan R. Pritchard, Jack O. Burns and Judd D. Bowman

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 419, issue 2, pages 1070-1084
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19766.x
An MCMC approach to extracting the global 21-cm signal during the cosmic dawn from sky-averaged radio observations

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Efforts are being made to observe the 21-cm signal from the ‘cosmic dawn’ using sky-averaged observations with individual radio dipoles. In this paper, we develop a model of the observations accounting for the 21-cm signal, foregrounds and several major instrumental effects. Given this model, we apply Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques to demonstrate the ability of these instruments to separate the 21-cm signal from foregrounds and quantify their ability to constrain properties of the first galaxies. For concreteness, we investigate observations between 40 and 120 MHz with the proposed Dark Ages Radio Explorer mission in lunar orbit, showing its potential for science return.

Keywords: methods: statistical; cosmology: theory; diffuse radiation; radio lines: general

Journal Article.  13653 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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